instant pot tuna casserole with peas
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5 from 3 votes

Instant Pot Tuna Casserole

So fast and easy to make in the pressure cooker, this comfort food classic is made from scratch using simple ingredients. No canned soups in this recipe. This creamy and delicious tuna casserole is sure to become a family favorite!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
NPR1 min
Total Time21 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Casseroles, Pressure Cooker, Tuna, Tuna Casserole
Category: Casseroles
Cooking Method: Instant Pot
Difficulty: Not Too Tricky
Development Status: Finished
Servings: 8
Calories: 567kcal
Author: Valerie Cooper

Ingredients

for the Creamy Sauce

  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon roasted chicken flavor
  • 1 can evaporated milk 12 fluid ounces

for the Tuna and Noodles

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter ½ stick, divided
  • 2 ribs celery about a ½ cup, diced small
  • ½ medium sweet onion about 1 cup, diced small
  • 3 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1 package extra wide egg noodles 12-ounce bag, uncooked
  • 2 cans Chunk Light Tuna, in water 6 ounces each, with juices

to add After Cooking

  • 2 cups frozen peas thawed
  • 1 cup extra-sharp cheddar freshly grated

optional Crunchy Topping

  • ½ cup extra-sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup potato chips crumbled

Instructions

  • Measure and set out the peas to thaw. Letting them soak in water will allow them to thaw faster.
  • Prepare Creamy Base: Whisk the flour into the heavy cream until fully dissolved. Add the Better than Bouillon to the cream and mix in. Gradually pour the evaporated milk into the cream sauce and gently whisk until the sauce is smooth. Set aside.

prepare the Vegetables, Tuna, and Pasta

  • Sauté Vegetables: Select the 'Sauté' button on your pressure cooker and adjust the heat level to 'Normal'. Allow the pot to heat up until the display reads 'Hot'. Add a tablespoon of the butter to the pot and allow it to melt. Add the chopped celery and onions and toss until thoroughly coated in the butter. Sauté, tossing occasionally, until the onions become soft and translucent. About 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off 'Sauté'.
  • Add Stock and Spices: Add the chicken stock, salt, and pepper to the pot, stir and deglaze any onion or celery that may have gotten stuck to the bottom of the liner.
  • Add Egg Noodles and Tuna: Add the egg noodles to the pot and gently push them down into the chicken stock so that they are submerged as much as possible. Dump the two cans of tuna on top of the pasta without mixing them in.

set the Cook Time

  • 2-Minute Cook Time: Close the Instant Pot, set the pressure release valve to 'Sealing' and cook on 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook', 'High Pressure' for 2 minutes.
  • 1-Minute NPR: Once the cooking time has finished, allow for a 1 minute NPR (natural pressure release) and then release any remaining pressure. After the pressure has been released and the pin has dropped, open the pot. Leave on 'Keep Warm'.

add the Remaining Ingredients

  • Gently mix in the remaining butter, creamy sauce, peas, and one cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Occasionally stir while allowing to sit on 'Keep Warm' for 5 minutes or until the cheese has fully melted and the peas have warmed through.

for the Crunchy Topping

  • CrispLid Method: To make the crunchy topping, first turn off and unplug your pressure cooker. Next, spread the ½ cup of cheese evenly over the top of the casserole and then sprinkle the potato chips over the top of the cheese. Place the CrispLid on top of the pressure cooker, set it to 450° F, and cook until bubbling and golden, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Baking Dish Method: Transfer the casserole to a baking dish. Spread the ½ cup of cheese evenly over the top of the casserole and then sprinkle the potato chips over the top of the cheese. Set on the middle rack of an oven under 'Lo Broil' and cook until bubbling and golden, about 2 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Round 3 on October 17: Moved the cook time up to 3 minutes with 1 minute NPR but noodles came out too soft. I moved the cook time back down to 2 minutes. We also adjusted from a 16 oz bag of noodles to a 12 oz. We do need to test at 2 minutes to make sure. 
Round 2 on October 16: came out perfect other than the noodles were under cooked. I extended the cook time to 2 minutes with a 1 minutes NPR. Maybe check some other recipes for reference also.
Round 1 on August 26: came out good but didn't come to pressure. Adjusted the recipe to help avoid this. The tuna burned to the bottom. Need to put the tuna on top. Also added 1/4 tsp of salt.
Inspiration:
https://www.jocooks.com/recipes/tuna-noodle-casserole/#wprm-recipe-container-14431
https://dinnerthendessert.com/tuna-noodle-casserole/#wprm-recipe-container-38839
https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/18871/easy-tuna-casserole/
https://www.simplyhappyfoodie.com/instant-pot-tuna-casserole/

Nutrition

Calories: 567kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 686mg | Potassium: 735mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1087IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 325mg | Iron: 3mg